The Barisan Nasional government is using the BR1M aid to suss out who their supporters are in the various constituencies in Sarawak.
State party vice chairman See Chee How said that in some longhouses in Sri Aman, less than 20% of residents were entitled to the BRIM assistance.
From the beginning it was announced that some 5.3 million households were entitled to the BR1M aid. After the closing date only 4.2 million had applied.
The aid is given to any household whose income is less than RM3,000.
‚ÄúTo me all the residents of each longhouse are entitled to be given the aid of RM500 as all of them are poor,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúUntil today we don‚Äôt know how many of these applicants were approved.
‚ÄúLast Saturday, I went to three longhouses in Sri Aman. In two of the longhouses less than 20% of the households received the aid, while in the third longhouse about 20% were approved.
The rest who also applied were not entitled to receive the RM500 aid, he said.
‚ÄúIf only 20% of the households are entitled, it means only one million households are entitled to the BR1M assistance.
‚ÄúThat means the government is to spend RM500 million for the one million households.
‚ÄúSo what is happening to the rest of the money?‚ÄĚ he asked.
BR1M, a political tool
The government, he added, must be transparent because it’s the “people’s money and the people have the right to know”.
He said BN leaders had turned BR1M into a political weapon in preparation for the general election.
‚ÄúI think it (BR1M) is a big scam. Is it for the preparation of the general election?‚ÄĚ the Batu Lintang assemblyman asked.
His colleague, Baru Bian, chairman of the state PKR, accused the state BN government of politicing the BR1M aid and deceiving the people saying the money was BN’s.
Bian was responding to remarks by Abu Seman Jahwie, a political secretary to the chief minister who challenged the PKR to emulate the BN government‚Äôs caring programmes in alleviating the plight of the people, especially the lower income group through cash aids.
The opposition, Abu Seman had reportedly said, had run out of ideas in their fault-finding mission as the BN government had covered all facets of development from social, education to economic transformation for the betterment of the people.
‚ÄúThey should not be wasting time finding faults with the government, but instead should contribute constructive ideas for further improvement.
‚ÄúThe cash aid of RM500 is testimony of the BN government walking the talk to bring a better quality of life to the people and lessen the burden of the lower income group,‚ÄĚ Abu Seman had said.
Complaints over BR1M
Responding to the remarks, Bian who is the Ba‚ÄôKelalan assemblyman said: ‚ÄúIt is very apparent that this guy is linking the BR1M to politics.
‚ÄúThe money he talked about is not the BN money. It is our money, the people‚Äôs money.
“So don‚Äôt talk of achievements using the people‚Äôs money to better the people‚Äôs life and to lessen their burden,‚ÄĚ he said.
Bian said they had received complaints that the BN distributed the BR1M aids to the successful applicants constituency by constituency “in order to find out how many of the BR1M applicants from each constituency are their supporters.”
‚ÄúWe have received complaints that the government is very selective and is distributing the aids by piecemeal.
‚ÄúIt is selective in the sense that if a man is their friend and did not get the money, they will ask him to reapply,‚ÄĚ said Bian.
The PKR leader also slammed certain Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) grassroots leaders in Betong for using Iban Service Wai FM (RTM) to call on successful BR1M applicants to collect their money from a branch leader of PBB in Betong.
‚ÄúThis should not have been done as this is purely politics. I think it is unfair to use RTM by political parties to disburse the money.
‚ÄúIf the government is sincere and transparent, they could also use all political parties including the opposition elected representatives,‚ÄĚ he added.